No. 6 Syracuse squeezes past Army in the Dome

Sophomore goalie Dominic Lamolinara makes game-winning save with two seconds remaining in a Feb. 26 lacrosse matchup against the Army Black Knights, sealing the second victory of the season for the Orange.

Syracuse head coach John Desko wasn’t happy with his team’s performance in the postgame press conference Sunday at the Carrier Dome -- despite the fact that the men's lacrosse team had just won its second game of the year with a 10-9 score. The No. 6 Orange (2-0) was very sloppy against Army Black Knights (2-2). The 25 turnovers the team committed bugged him the most, he said. 

Photo: Sterling Boin
JoJo Marasco runs to catch a pass.

“We talked about valuing the ball, especially against West Point,” Desko said. “That is a team that likes to control the tempo. We gave up too many there.”

Both teams looked sloppy in the first quarter, each turning the ball over four times. The Orange jumped out to a 4-2 lead with goals from four different Syracuse players.

Tim Desko was the first to score, totaling two goals that day. Then long stick midfielder Peter Macartney was able to capitalize with his first goal of the season when Army goalie Zach Palmieri came too far out of the net. Completing the first quarter scoring was Derek Maltz, who received a feed from Drew Jenkins with 40 seconds remaining. It was Jenkins' first collegiate point.

Syracuse’s six turnovers in the second quarter played a role in the Army scoring three unanswered goals, taking a 5-4 lead into halftime. It was a frustrating quarter for Matt Lerman, who finished the day with four saves and five goals allowed.

Dominic Lamolinara took over the net in the second half. He finished with five saves and four goals against him. He started off a little slow, allowing three goals in the third, but came on strong in the fourth, making saves when his team needed him to. One of those saves was with several seconds left in the game, as the Army tried to tie it up.

“Dom was pretty comfortable in the second half and made a huge save for us to seal the game.” Desko said, referring to Lamolinara. 

With possession and a one-goal deficit, Army took a timeout with 18 seconds left in the game -- one last chance to strategize to score against Lamolinara. The Black Knights couldn’t capitalize.

“I felt like that was a really long timeout,” Lamolinara said. “I had a lot of time to think about it. I knew that I was probably going to have to make a save.”

But the Orange wouldn’t have been in a position to win the game without a dominating performance from Chris Daddio at the faceoff X. Daddio grabbed 16 of his 22 faceoffs, which is a huge improvement over his preseason struggles.

“In the beginning of the season, as coach said, one of the big questions was going to be faceoffs,” said Daddio, adding that the team has been doing more drills in practice with assistant coach Kevin Donahue.  

The Orange still have a lot to fix before a tough matchup next Sunday against No. 1 Virginia. Syracuse’s performance during extra-man opportunities is one area to improve in. The Orange were just 1-for-6 on Sunday, while the Army was 2-for-3.

But even with all the turnovers and the lack of execution on the extra-man opportunities, the Orange managed to win.

“I thought when we needed to, we played well," Desko said. "We dug it out.” 

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